EyeOnBI.org is part of an effort to return Beth Israel Deaconess to its founding principles and ensure that the administration is putting the interests of patients, workers and community members first. Read more


"Clean Up Your Act"

On Thursday, September 27, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald both featured a new advertisement encouraging BIDMC to “Clean Up Your Act.” The ad said, “Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center executives are looking for new hospitals to buy and for other expansion opportunities into our communities – but first it’s time for them to clean up their act. Before taking on new affiliations or mergers, BIDMC officials need to come clean with the public about what’s really going on at the hospital, including:

  • Ongoing Department of Justice investigations into BIDMC Medicare billing practices
  • BIDMC’s apparent overstatement to IRS of community benefits
  • The truth behind BIDMC’s high readmission rates
  • How BIDMC’s short staffing could threaten patient care”

View the ad here.


Medicare to penalize for excessive readmissions

Beginning in October, Medicare will penalize hospitals with high Medicare readmission rates. Of the more than 2,000 hospitals facing penalties under this program, BIDMC is one of only 278 hospitals to receive the maximum penalty, 1% of their base Medicare reimbursements.


August 13, 2012: Medicare To Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions


Another patient data breach at BIDMC

A laptop containing personal health information on nearly 4,000 patients was stolen from an office at BIDMC. This the third reported data breach at the hospital since 2010.

July 20, 2012: Patient information may have been breached after laptop stolen at Beth Israel Deaconess



 Other data breach stories:

July 19, 2011: Beth Israel data breach may effect over 2,000

  Jan. 27, 2010: Stolen UCSF Laptop Contained Confidential Info From 4400 Patients

Read more.


BIDMC makes list of hospitals for readmission problems three years running

According to new Medicare data, BIDMC was one of 8 hospitals in the country to have higher-than-average readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia patients. Last year, BIDMC was one of three hospitals nationwide with readmission rates “significantly worse” than the national averages for these patients over the past 3 years.

July 22, 2012: Medicare IDs few hospitals as outliers in readmissions


August 29, 2011: Barnes-Jewish, Beth Israel, Our Lady of the Resurrection Post Highest Readmission Rates for Past 3 Years in 3 Categories 

Additional coverage:

   July 24, 2012: When Going Back To The Hospital Is Good News

    July 23, 2012: CMS doesn't call out hospitals with worst readmission rates

  July 24, 2012: Medicare singles out few hospitals for high readmissions


Beth Israel denies woes

Just weeks after eliminating 20 workers, BIDMC announces the closure of Stoneman 5 – a 24-bed medical unit – following reductions in inpatient volumes.

  April 6, 2012: Beth Israel denies woes


Major Department of Justice Investigation Launched into BI’s One Day Stays

The US Dept. of Justice (DoJ) and Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have launched an investigation into BIDMC’s Medicare billing practices, scrutinizing the number of patients admitted for short-stay admissions. In 2008, 1199SEIU wrote to the CareGroup board of directors about the high rate of one-day stays at BIDMC, warning them of possible additional scrutiny from regulators.  Patients admitted for one day stays can cost Medicare upwards of $5,000 more than if they were held for observation, which can drive up healthcare costs.

The DoJ/OIG investigation focuses on short-stay admissions from 6/1/2004 – 2/4/2010.

February 4, 2012: Hospital's Medicare billing examined

Attachments: CareGroup August 2011 disclosure (PDF), CareGroup Dec 2011 quarterly disclosure (PDF), 2008 Letter to the board

Additional coverage:

February 6, 2012: Beth Israel billing practices probed

  February 6, 2012: CMS Anti-Fraud Program To Begin In June

February 6, 2012: Boston's BIDMC Medicare billing examined

February 6, 2012: Boston hospital's Medicare billing examined

February 6, 2012: Feds investigate Beth Israel for overbilling

February 6, 2012: Feds probe Beth Israel’s billing practices

February 6, 2012: Feds Probe Beth Israel’s Billing Practices

February 6, 2012: Feds Probe Boston Hospital
February 6, 2012: Feds probe Beth Israel's billing practices
February 6, 2012: Feds probe Beth Israel's billing practices
February 6, 2012: Feds Probe Beth Israel’s Billing Practices
February 6, 2012: Feds probe Beth Israel's billing practices


Feds settle fraud suit against BIDMC for Medicare overbilling

Federal  authorities won or negotiated fraud settlements totaling $2.4 billion FY 2011, including nearly $234K in May 2011 from BIDMC in a case where BIDMC allegedly overbilled Medicare for drug treatments using the wrong billing code, resulting in the hospital being paid nearly double what it should have been paid for the drug.  BIDMC-Needham paid nearly $60K to settle similar charges that same month.

February 14, 2012: Federal authorities report record fraud judgments, settlements in 2011


Fraud Settlements report 2011

See 5/12/2011 enforcement actions.


Wrong site surgeries continue at BIDMC

Between September and December 2010, BIDMC surgeons conducted three wrong-site spine surgeries, operating on the wrong vertebrae in all three cases. These three errors stood out, according to the Boston Globe, as there were 11 spine surgery errors statewide from 2006 – 2008.

 December 24, 2010: Beth Israel erred in 3 spinal operations


Biopsy error results in an unnecessary surgery

In August 2010, news surfaced that an error in the BIDMC pathology lab resulted in unnecessary cancer surgery.

 August 2, 2010: Mistakes that matter 


BIDMC and PILOT Payments

Hospitals, universities and other nonprofit institutions in Boston make voluntary payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) which help to defray costs of municipal services such as police, fire, and snow removal.  BIDMCs payments, compared to other Boston hospitals, have been noticeably low for years. The Mayor’s PILOT Task Force has developed guidelines that will increase BIDMCs annual payment to $3.1M within five years.  Their current payment of $167,000 will grow to $750,000 next year.

  May 17, 2011: NPR’s All Things Considered: Cash Strapped Cities Put the Squeeze on Nonprofits

April 24, 2011: City Sends ‘Tax’ Bills to Major Nonprofits
January 3, 2011: Nonprofits Should Use Formula for Payments In Lieu of Taxes
May 31, 2009: Much is Given by Hospitals, More is Asked

Click here to read the full archive of articles.


A New Day for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Search Committee Announced to Find Hospital’s Next CEO

The Board of Directors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has tapped a former civil rights attorney to head the search for the next CEO of the hospital.

Margaret Mckenna, who currently serves as the head of Walmart’s charitable giving efforts previously served as the head of Lesley College and as a member of the Carter administration, will head the search committee which also will include eight doctors and the head of BIDMC’s nursing staff.

“There’s nothing more challenging today than what is happening with medical care and health,” said Mckenna in an email obtained by the Boston Herald. “Beth Israel will take (its) time, to find the best person.”

May 4, 2011: Beth Israel Deaconess CEO search heats up

 February 16, 2011: Woman leads Beth Israel boss search


BIDMC’s Board of Directors release letter to staff

Under Pressure from Healthcare Workers and Boston Media, Beth Israel Deaconess Board of Directors Release Details on Levy’s “Negotiated Severance”

After weeks of pressure from healthcare workers across Boston and other community groups, BIDMC’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Stephen Kay, announced the terms of the package reached with outgoing CEO Paul Levy in late January.

“The Board concluded that this agreement was in the best interest of the medical center and the people it serves,” said Kay in an email to the Boston Globe. “Just under two years before Paul’s contract would have expired, the Board of Directors has agreed with Paul on a negotiated departure.”

Reacting to the changing description of the payments, Globe columnist Brian McGrory wrote, “Nobody is questioning whether BIDMC has world-class doctors and intelligent nurses. But what it also has is an executive team that is now constantly inviting the question: What else are they lying about?”

February 9, 2011: Trust? It’s on life support
January 22, 2011: Levy’s exit cushioned by $1.6 million severance deal
January 19, 2011:  No words for severance

January 22, 2011: Unions rip Paul Levy severance pay

January 19, 2011: Boston's Beth Israel Officials Mum on Paul Levy's Severance Pay


All Eyes on Levy: Boston media calls for Board of BIDMC to Disclose Outgoing CEO's Severance

Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory calls on outgoing Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CEO Paul Levy and the Board of BIDMC to disclose any severance set to be paid to Levy upon his departure as head of the hospital. Levy resigned abruptly at the beginning of the month following considerable scrutiny of an inappropriate relationship with a staffer, including calls from the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization of Women and 1199SEIU for his ouster. For more background click here.


 January 19, 2011: No Words for Severance

  January 19, 2011: Boston's Beth Israel Officials Mum on Paul Levy's Severance Pay


Paul Levy Resigns

After months of pressure from 1199SEIU and the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women, embattled Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CEO Paul Levy announced his resignation January 7, 2011.


 January 7, 2011: Beth Israel chief Paul Levy Resigns
January 7, 2011: Embattled Boston hospital CEO steps down


 January 8, 2011: Paul Levy's exit cheered by women's groups
January 7, 2011: Ex-Beth Israel chief opens up on "error of judgment."

  January 7, 2011: Beth Israel CEO Paul Levy Will Resign  

 January 7, 2011: Beth Israel CEO Paul Levy resigns

 January 7, 2011: Beth Israel CEO Levy To Step Down

 January 7, 2011: Beth Israel CEO Paul Levy Resigns 
January 7, 2011: What's Next for Paul Levy?

 January 7, 2011: Beth Israel president and CEO Paul Levy to resign

 January 7, 2011: Beth Israel CEO Levy Announces Resignation 

 January 7, 2011: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CEO Paul Levy Resigns

 January 7, 2011: Levy to step down at Beth Israel Deaconess